The Battlefield franchise is in a weird place. The rushed release date-focused Battlefield 4 sort of backfired for developer DICE and publisher Electronic Arts to the point where it received less-than-stellar reviews and helped ignite several lawsuits from shareholders against the publisher for the quality of the game.
For the gamers, the consumers, Battlefield 4 proved problematic for many and required over a year of extensive updates to become the game it should have been at launch. So, after launching in a broken ("unacceptable" according to EA's CEO) state, and providing less content than its predecessor (Battlefield 3 at least tried to include a co-op mode), EA still went ahead in double-dipping against the player base, asking for players to essentially pay twice the price of the game to get the "Premium" experience and all the DLC that comes with it. They also have those pesky, dirty microtransactions to buy in-game items that are held back from players unless they grind.
For the most hardcore players who stuck with it all along, BF4 is in a much better place now. We really wish Battlefield 4 came out now - with all of its content - instead of when it did with so much less. It would have been one of the better games of 2014. The final DLC as part of the season's pass, Battlefield 4: Final Stand, released a few weeks ago for Premium subscribers and this week finally released for regular sale. And just as it did, EA is about to share news that they aren't done. There's more DLC on the way.
But first, they of course had issues with Battlefield 4: Final Stand this week where it didn't work for players who purchased it separately. That issue, EA has confirmed, has since been rectified. We couldn't be more relieved that they made sure to delay Battlefield Hardline until March 2015. Imagine if that came out a month or two ago? At this point, the way games have been releasing in the last few months and given EA and Battlefield's recent history, it was practically guaranteed to be a mess.
As for what's next, we're guessing EA is going to sell more DLC for the Battlefield community to have something new to fill the gap between now and Hardline's release. We don't know any official details outside of Producer at DICE LA David Sirland teasing that an announcement on the sixth DLC pack could be announced next Tuesday, December 9th.
For the next DLC, DICE and EA have a chance to do something special for fans (to get back that player trust they admitted to losing) if they play their cards right. Charging for this separately after all the nickel and diming they've done so far would just be aggravating so perhaps a free DLC pack to bring players back or to entice newcomers to purchase the entire (now discounted) package, would be smart. It would also be a good way for DICE to do something a little more fun-focused, something they just started to do in Final Stand where they teased the origins of Battlefield 2142 and included a usable hovertank.
If you've been following our Battlefield coverage these last few years, you know what I'm thinking. Unleash the dinosaurs, DICE. Jurassic World is on the way. The timing is right! Call of Duty has aliens and zombies...
Note: There's little to no chance of that happening. Perhaps they could use new DLC to tease or setup Hardline or the recently confirmed Battlefield 5 which i coming fall 2016.
In other news, Visceral promised their Frostbite-powered EA shooter will "work" at launch.
[Update: The "Uprise" dogtag discovered in the community test environment a few weeks ago that had some players believing it was the name of upcoming DLC is actually the name of the company who makes Battlelog.]
Battlefield 4: Final Stand is now available on all platforms. Battlefield Hardline releases March 17 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Sources: EA, Game Informer